Stocks quoted in this article:
At least by one measure, the labor market continued to be very tight in May. Earlier today, the firm of Challenger, Gray, and Christmas announced May job cuts. There were 27,036 U.S. workers laid off from their employers in May, down 27 percent from April. Although last Friday's employment data showed an increase in the unemployment rate from a 30-year low of 3.9 percent to 4.1 percent, these layoff data suggest that employers are doing their best not to cut workers and that the labor market is just as tight as ever. In fact, May 2000 layoffs were 51 percent below May 1999 cuts, making May the ninth consecutive month in which job cuts were lower than the same month a year before. May was also the first time in 17 months that layoffs were lower than 30,000.